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Home town, Novi Sad, the City of Culture, “Happy childhood” child care, and Matica Srpska Gallery (collaboration)

Novi Sad promoting Textiles – For half a year now, Novi Sad has been presenting cultural values. Therefore, we all enjoy the most beautiful face of the European Capital of Culture. “Novi Sad 2022’ program” comes out of the slogan ‘4 New Bridges’ (Rainbow, Freedom, Love, and Hope). This one represents the idea of building new bridges of cooperation.

So, after values, our wishes need to develop in the context of integrations and beliefs. It normally fosters and strives to share with Europeans and the rest of the world. With its first “Rainbow” bridge, from the Danube banks, combines diversity, into a mosaic of cultures and arts. In our niche, among artistic and cultural programs, we are especially interested in Textiles.

Program arch Culture in Education aims the main goal, to question the system of formal education. But also promote alternative models. That means encouraging critical communication and art of young people regarding current social issues. It is a challenging modern concept of understanding traditional fairy tales and writing new pages for modern generations.

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The bridge “Freedom”, work by 5-year-old Leo, K: First of the program arches in the idea that this bridge symbolizes the Future of Europe

Novi Sad promotes Textiles, the content of Heroines (The Power of Female Creativity)

Heroines – program arch, Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2022

All-female art events promote the cultural characteristics of women. To clarify, related to their utilitarian contribution, as well as artistic achievements. The belief in themes of the female historical heritage marks the way to an equal society. Feminist Organization Re/connection and Women’s Museum, in Novi Sad, are leaders of the Heroines program arch.

Certainly, these events, as key cultural contents, significantly belong to the concept of our Niche of textiles. My favorite actual Project circle is “Scarf as a cultural signifier”. Re/connection and Women’s Museum, in Novi Sad accomplished it in cooperation with the Museum of Women’s Culture Regional-International, Fuerth, Germany, and the Museum of Vojvodina, Novi Sad. Project leaders have done a series of special events together with a few prestigious cultural institutions in Novi Sad. It is why, besides strong promotional messages, those events imply high museological standards. Fascinating for me at the very beginning of the cultural tour. Because I immediately got involved to experience it. And shared with you the news and my impressions from Novi Sad, the European Capital of Culture 2022.

The Magical World of Milica Zorić – Heroines of the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection

Similarly, like most visitors, I knew the contents of the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection. There are primarily works of Serbian and Yugoslav modernism from the first half of the 20th century. At the same time, Milica Zorić’s specific tapestry art opus escaped my attention.

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Prince on a bird, 1959

Novi Sad is promoting Textiles through the exhibition “Heroines of the Memorial Collection of Pavle Beljanski”. In short, lucky me, it brought me the surprise of a joyful encounter facing large-format tapestries that “speak” the mother tongue. An epic world of the symbolism of cultural heritage, but with a modernist artistic narrative. Real and imaginary creatures (lizards, dragons, falconers, folk heroes) live on decorative textiles which is actually the home space of the magical world.

According to the characteristics of the content of the ornamentation, as well as the artistic medium, the tapestry of Milica Zorić is one of the keys and special qualities of this Memorial Collection. It is an echo of traditional textile creation. I have experienced fine art in a tapestry that far exceeds the applied art level. Because it expresses art in a combination of myth, cultural heritage, and modernism.

Blue falconer, 1958

Novi Sad promoting Textiles – Exhibition “The Scarf as a Cultural Signifier” and workshop “Around the head – Discourses of a piece of fabric

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The hosts ceremoniously receive and greet the visitors to the exhibition at The Museum of Vojvodina

The exhibition in the Museum of Vojvodina is full of exciting scenes pleasant to modern eyes and to the curiosity of visitors. On the one hand, disturbing scenes of completely masked women. And on the other hand, the timelessly graceful silhouettes of women of nature. Meticulous, delicate handicrafts on ornate scarves. Unexpected colors and ornaments of cotton and silk or wool.

Subsequently, after the opening ceremony at the Museum of Vojvodina (evening of May, 18. 2022), the “Scarf event” continued. The next event was at the Cultural station, a former “Silk factory”. Which hosted a workshop “Around the head – Discourses of a piece of fabric”. Moreover, the authors’ team from the museum from Bavaria, Elizabeth Bala, and Tijana Jakovljević Šević showed various models of headscarf use. The participants’ activities were directed by their design professor, Nataša Trajković. Several dozen girls, students of the upper grades of the Mileva Marić Einštajn Technical School (Novi Sad) majoring in clothing design, participated. So, all-around on a huge surface plate was manipulation with numerous pieces of various shapes, colors, and designs. Finally, each girl picked her own favorite piece.

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Pagne is the basis of Muslim women’s clothing in Chad

Pagne is a three-part set of clothing elements. The largest rectangular piece wraps around the body, the second is to cover the head, and the third hangs casually from the shoulder. It is the main clothing set that, in various designs, mostly fills the wardrobe of Muslim women in Chad.

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Girls, traditionally wrap-headed, pose and take selfies
Review of the results of the Workshop, girls with different applications of scarves

Consequently, the same group continued the working program in the interior of the Exhibition in the Museum of Vojvodina. Here, the authors vividly explained various aspects of the scarf as a cultural code. Based on the exhibited authentic copies in the context of comprehensive documented content of multi-layered meanings. Elements of wearing the headscarves (in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America). Further, emphasize the current mixing of cultures with frequent migrations.

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Sasfari, Midoun, Djerba, Tunisie, 2017
Festive scarf, Upper Franconia, needlework by Mrs. Luitgard Birmajer, 1975
One of the ways of shaping the headscarf, by Ava Eve, Burkina Faso, West Africa Burkina Faso West Africa

Finally, I remain hoping that young designers have gained an idea of the functions of the headscarf as a cultural signifier. Bearing in mind the obvious examples of phenomena in different times and social contexts.

Scarf – a simple element of clothing with “countless” purposes

A week later, contemporary fashion designers completed another context “Scarf in the function of clothing for various purposes”. As well as at the Svilara Cultural Station, as part of the Heroine program arc. The workshop about “The Scarf As a Cultural Signifier” marked a creative painting of various motifs on scarves. The intervention of designers received their purpose and can be used as different garments. Upper garments of different shapes, kimono coats or classic scarf, even something else completely different personal creations.

Novi Sad promoting Textiles – comes more about “Scarf as a Cultural Signifier

After this introduction post, as the next in the series, I plan to present the project “Scarf as a cultural signifier“. I am going to explain this extensive content carefully. The authors from the Museum in Germany have thoroughly systematized the forms. Pointed out the meanings of the headscarf in the local, European, and non-European contexts. I keep in mind the intention of the author (Elizabeth Bala, Gabi Franger, and Tijana Jakovljević Šević) about the function of the exhibition. To be an impetus for dialogue between women who want or do not want to cover themselves. It concerns a woman’s right for society to understand and accept her unique position conditioned by personal, religious, or political reasons.

Katarina Radisavljević’s contribution represents the function of the headscarf through “ossified” models but also presents practices. Typical markers of collective identity in the multicultural environment of Vojvodina have been selected.

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The festive upper cap of a married woman of Croat ethnicity, village Sonta Bačka 1908; and purchased scarves, below

But what about my following tasks matter?

I carefully read the catalogs of the Exhibition. Then, I walk among the scenes of silhouettes wrapped in cloth; practical, or gracefully shaped headboards. Obviously, need to get into the heart of the meaning of various phenomena. Suggestive legends are the key. However, I’m worried about how I will summarize all these impressions in my proper vision of everything I absorb. The authors certainly set me a difficult task for the next post. But being in line with the attitude on the Work page is the essence of the concept of my blog, and it is really inevitable.

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Tijana Jakovljević Šević explains a lot of details on the scarves matter, in interaction with the visitors

And now, about “My family’s and homeland’s scarves”

These suggestive events motivate me to enlarge the universal theme of the application and meaning of women’s scarves.

The idea spontaneously came to me, as being willing to give others an insight into my private material. There I am, counting on a few scarves and a few preserved illustrations from my family’s legacy. These are preserved scarves and photographs of scarf-cover-headed women from my family’s generations during the 20th century. In this way, I want to present some types of head covering, within local family ties, in the region of Morava valley near Aleksinac.

My mother (third from the left) with scarf at the company, in the field, Agricultural Collective, Aleksinac, 1955.

Novi Sad promoting Textiles – the splendor of a monumental exhibition “Female Thread” from ” Atelier 61”

“Female Thread”, an installation from the collection of “Atelier 61” (Institute for Tapestry Weaving), inspires me to dedicate myself to the technique of weaving again. This time, there will be open questions about the tapestry. This seems inevitable, with the introduction of selected works of contemporary tapestry.

Namely, I wanted to unravel some layers of material in the development of the art of tapestry weaving in the past. During the decades of studying weaving techniques, I deposited materials and left incidental notes, observations, and even dilemmas about the specifics of tapestry techniques.

The monumental exhibition “Women’s Thread” by Atelier 61, based in Petrovaradin, is in the Creative District, along the southern bank of the Danube. I intend to set a slightly different point of view on this page, sooner or later. For the purpose of deeper structural considerations related to two types of textile art: tapestry and carpet weaving. Both are appreciated and celebrated around the world. Also, both are developed in our country, intertwined with the influences of the East or the West.

I am going to raise issues of numerous similarities, but also differences in the performance of these textile fabrics. About tapestries as decorative wall coverings, an art form in textiles. It concerns the weaving procedures in the art of tapestry, in relation to carpet weaving, on the other side.


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Exhibition “Women’s Thread”, work Re-knit by Leonora Vekić transforms space into a visible-invisible labyrinth

Always, I hope to expand the circle of readers, maybe, somewhere in the shade of this hot summer, Sincerely, Branka on textiles

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